Sunday, September 30, 2007

Episcopal Church & South Dakota 2006 Statistics are Out...CORRECTED

The link to the page is here. (Hat tip: Stand Firm) You need to scroll down, enter a diocese (and a parish if desired), and it will give you a pdf graph of members, worship attendance and plate/pledge contributions.

The Diocese of South Dakota seems to have plateaued at around 2,100 in average Sunday worship attendance (ASA), down from 2,600 ASA in the year 2000. Financial giving was up after two years of decline, but still not exceeding the amount given in 2003. Membership (always a tricky and unreliable number) is slightly up after years of decline. Some of the declines might have been due to better reporting (clearing inactive people off of church lists), so it is hard to track a trend there.

Flagship liberal congregation Calvary, Sioux Falls continued to decline in all categories. This is a church where Bible-bashing Bishop Spong is taught as "Christian Education" and a homosexual activist group holds its own services and leads classes to enlighten the rest of the congregation.

Emmanuel, Rapid City, the largest West River parish, showed a noticeable dip in ASA, although it claims an increase in members (go figure). Their financial giving is up, but not back up to the level of year 2003 (and their ASA has fallen each year since then). Please note that the earlier version of this post included incorrect information. Emmanuel is NOT home to an Integrity Chapter, although a local advocate of the Integrity agenda has identified as an Emmanuel member from time to time.

Moderate parish Trinity, Pierre showed a marked gain in ASA and in financial support, although still below the giving level of year 2002.

Traditional parish Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls had a solid ASA increase and reached a parish best for financial support.

The ASA increases at Trinity and Good Shepherd might explain the apparent "levelling" of diocesan ASA for 2006. Statistics in small dioceses can be difficult to interpret as even a small change in a small parish can create a major blip for the diocese.

But the overall weakness and irrelevance of the Episcopal Church here is suggested by the fact that Lincoln County (includes the south side of Sioux Falls) population grew by 45.9% in the years 2000-06, reaching just over 35,000 residents according to the US Census Bureau. There is no TEC church in the county, and no effort to plant one. The combined ASA of the three TEC churches in Sioux Falls (Calvary Cathedral, Good Shepherd and Holy Apostles') hovers around 300. Minnehaha County, in which they sit, has a population of over 163,000, up 10.1% from year 2000.


Anonymous said...

What is truly sad is that David Anderson was the rector of Emmanuel in the 80's. How far this parish has turned is amazing.

cp said...

Emmanuel, Rapid City, home to the diocese's "Integrity" (homosexual activist) group

Huh? I'm the South Dakota Network Coordinator for Integrity and I am not aware of a member at Emmanuel, much less a "home" to Integrity.

Given Emmanuel is in the middle of a rector search process, they are blessed to be holding their membership steady. Good for them!

cp said...

David Anderson was the rector of Emmanuel in the 80's

I have been told (by those that were there then) that David+ Anderson, was (as now) was an extremely divisive figure in that community.

But Emmanuel hung together... it's an extremely committed community that I feel confident can weather any storm.

TLF+ said...

Thanks for sharing your personal opinions, cp.
You'll be welcome here by and large - unlike, say, a Biblically traditional church member trying to be heard on the Diocese of South Dakota Info Exchange.

TLF+ said...

See below one piece of info (among several) that led us to wrongly conclude that Emmanuel hosts an "Integrity" (LGBT entitlement) chapter. While we've been assured by parish leaders that this is not the case, it remains true that at least one of their parishioners claims to represent the national Integrity organization, as he said in this post on the Diocese of South Dakota website:

Curtis Price
03/26/07 at 10:42 AM
Information about the meeting this weekend in Chamberlain. -- I will be there representing Integrity USA.
Subject: statewide GLBT meeting this weekend
The meeting to create a statewide GLBT organization will be held in Chamberlain this March 30-April 1.
There still is room available if you are interested in attending.
Following is the agenda.
People can reserve their rooms by contacting AmericInn at
Room rates are $54.99 for single and $64.99 for 2 or more.
SD Statewide Organizing Meeting
American Inn, Chamberlain
March 31 – April 1, 2007
Friday: 8:00-10:00 PM
Hospitality hours (snacks, check-in, etc.) in main hotel meeting room
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
History & meeting objectives
The IRS puzzle
Pizza lunch provided
Organization structure
Mission statement
Saturday supper – on your own (How about Al’s Oasis at 7:00 PM?)
Sunday: 9:00 AM – Noon
Conclusions re: mission & structure
Implementation (next steps)
Steering committee
Communications (web site, newsletter)
*By way of introduction, all attendees are asked to answer the following question:
In 5 years, what do you want to see happening in SD regarding GLBT issues? Answers will be recorded and will help shape the meeting discussions. Please come prepared to offer your thoughts on this question!

Alice C. Linsley said...

Welcome, CP. May the blood of Jesus be upon you!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

CP - thank you for your interest here!

How long has David Anderson been gone from Emmanuel? Seems pretty gossipy to say "I've been told", or "I heard...". Did you know David Anderson while he was there?

There have been so many divisive things happen in this church the past 40 years, it doesn't surprise me that someone would call ANYONE in ANY leadership role "divisive" along the way.

I have personally known 6 bishops in this diocese and the one currently in the cathedra is the most divisive person I have known to hold the position. Not rumor, not gossip...but fact - as I have experienced it.

Anyway, God be with you all out there. Onward, upward...

cp said...

See below one piece of info (among several) that led us to wrongly conclude that Emmanuel hosts an "Integrity" (LGBT entitlement) chapter.

Well, you could have asked me, or clicked over to Integrity USA where current Integrity chapters and Diocesan Networks are posted.

As for the deleting of theological opinions (left and right) posted on the SD Diocesan Info Exchange, the webmaster has (wisely in my opinion) decided to re-focus that blog on the daily life of the parishes, people, and programs of the Diocese.

There are many other places (including this site) for discussion and debate... if that's what floats your boat.

Integrity is simply a witness to the church from the LGBT community and their friends and family.

Personally, I am involved because I feel we have many challenges before us--personal, economic, theological, and spiritual ones--and I do not feel we can afford to exclude anyone. (Including all of you readers of northernplainsanglicans, of course.)

We had a wonderful Convention at Cedar Shore last weekend too. I was treated very kindly and respectfully there, and that goes a long way with me.

cp said...

Seems pretty gossipy to say "I've been told"

Sorry. I was just making it clear I wasn't there. As Veggie Tales sez, and I know from personal experience "words can hurt even when they are true." So I apologize.

[the] one currently in the cathedral is the most divisive person I have known to hold the position.

I want to say that over time that since I came to the Diocese, as I have learned more of the full story about this and that, the more understanding and respect I have for his walk and his leadership.

This doesn't mean I have always liked or agreed with everything that I have seen go down in the Diocese. But I've seen a lot of grace surrounding him too. I'm very proud he is my Bishop.

TLF+ said...

Gang - we are getting off track. We are talking about personalities on a thread about diocesan stats.

But, from an organizational leadership perspective, perhaps that is part of the problem. If the Diocese, consciously or not, perceives itself as a small family (or club), personality needs will loom larger than the well being of the body. And the ego needs of a very small group will prevent helpful and useful insights from perceived "outsiders." A recipe for church stagnation and decline if ever there was.